CLINTON, Ind. (WTHI) - Work is underway to transform a vacant property into a new community center.
Clinton Mayor Jack Gilfoy explains the city just closed on the 301 South Main Street property Tuesday and crews are already working inside to clean-up and make repairs.
Mayor Gilfoy says there was discussion about building a community center and he considered applying for a grant. Instead, the city opted to buy the empty downtown building for less money than what it would have cost to build new.
The property on Main Street is known as the old JCPenney building and was most recently used as a church.
According to Mayor Gilfoy, the building will now be used for big city meetings and people will be able to rent the space for parties.
Gilfoy says, "I know there's a lot of people in Clinton that have wanted places to have a venue of some kind and we had nothing to offer them. I think this will give the citizens of Clinton an opportunity to have their venues here in the city."
Crews will install a new furnace and central air. The city will be reimbursed the cost of these upgrades.
The city paid $36,000 for the building and the mayor estimates $150,000 will be needed for renovations over time.
Bart Waldrop is a sales consultant with Jackson Family of Dealerships in Clinton. He says he has lived and worked in the area all his life. Waldrop witnessed the changes the the Main Street building over the years and says this plan to revitalize it is worth the money.
"You're going to have some people saying 'I can't believe the city's paying for this,' you know, you got to look at the big picture, you got to look at what they're trying to do."
The mayor says the new space could be ready by the first of May and there is already interest in the community to lease the office space inside the building.
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